Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Lee (top) & Dean
Two brothers, Lee and Dean Fleming – hailing from a family which achieved wealth through astute marketing of a grocery chain (‘Flemings are Fabulous’) – have played separate roles in the breeding of two Australian gallopers, Black Caviar and Rocket Man, who in the past week have enhanced their claim to being two of the best sprinters in the world at this time.
The 4YO mare Black Caviar, in fact, has been rated the best racehorse in the world and one of the great sprinters in Australian history following her 1.8 lengths win over the Stratum 2010 Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily in the $500,000 Group One William Reid (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday night. It was an effort which took Black Caviar’s record to an unbeaten 11 wins, the last four at Group One level, and earnings to just under $2.6 million.
Although bred by Rick Jamieson at his Gilgai Farm, Nagambie, Victoria, Lee Fleming had a big input into Black Caviar’s breeding. He stands her sire, leading Royal Academy juvenile and sprinter Bel Esprit, at his Eliza Park stud at Kerrie in Victoria, and in partnership with Robert Crabtree, bred her dam Helsinge, a daughter of three times Australian Horse of the Year Sunline’s sire Desert Sun and the high class Snippets 2YO Scandinavia.
As Black Caviar is bred on a cross of a Nijinsky grandson over a Desert Sun mare, her immediate pedigree is similar on converse pattern to that which produced Sunline. Besides being by Desert Sun, Sunline is from a mare by the Nijinsky sire Western Symphony.
Used in both hemispheres, before coming to Eliza Park (subsequently joined there by Bel Esprit), Desert Sun is also sire of the Ireland bred veteran Hong Kong sprinter Sunny King, a well beaten third when Australian bred Rocket Man confirmed he was a leading international sprinter with a 2.3 lengths win in the $2 million Golden Shaheen at the rich Dubai carnival at the weekend.
Now successful in 14 of his 18 starts, including the Shaheen, the Hong Kong International Sprint and Singapore Lion City Cup (twice) and earner of $3 million, the Singapore based Rocket Man was bred by Dean Fleming on the family’s Tyreel Stud at Agnes Banks, Hawkesbury and sold for $60,000 to World Wide Bloodstock, South Africa at the Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast.
A half-brother to Our Giant, a dual Group One winner in South Africa by Giant’s Causeway, the 5-year-old gelded Rocket Man is by Viscount, a champion in Australia at two and three by the English Derby winner Quest for Fame and from Antwerp, a Sir Tristram stakes winning grandaughter of Eight Carat, and from Macrosa, a dual Listed winner by McGinty, a top performer in New Zealand and Australia.
- Brian Russell Media

Black Caviar (above) & Rocket Man (below)

Monday, March 28, 2011


The opportunity to present three mares in foal to 2010 Newmarket Handicap-G1 winner, Wanted, proved to be something of a coup for Magic Millions when each notched up six figure sums in the dispersal sections of the Perth Autumn Thoroughbred Sale at Belmont on Sunday (27 March).
Showing the way was the sale topping $205,000 for British mare, Finishing School, who was knocked down to leading bloodstock agent, John Chalmers who pointed out that the mare (a winner of her only start in France and half sister to Dubai stakes winner Singing Poet) would be returning to Wanted this spring.
Getting into the action, Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock Agency was able to secure the WA Guineas-G2 winner Moccasin Bend – also in foal to Wanted – by stepping in with a bid of $180,000: the sale’s third top price.
Finally, the third in-foal-to-Wanted, was the 2YO stakes winner Huiskes (from a half sister to Champion sprinter Scenic Blast) which was purchased by Victorian-based EBA for $100,000 and, once again, the mare will return to Eliza Park to be covered by Wanted in his second season at stud.
All three mares were offered by WA breeder Paul Fitzpatrick, via Mogumber Park and the sale has proven to be a ideal launching pad for the Wanteds … three six figure sums without even a foal on the ground!
(The sale featured both the broodmare dispersals of Oakland Park and Paul Fitzpatrick and included the sale of two mares in foal to Lonhro).
The response to Wanted certainly augurs well for the Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale (12-14 April) where four mares in foal to the son of Fastnet Rock, including a Group Two winner and a More Than Ready 2YO stakes winner, will be offered.
Wanted was sold for $800,000 at the 2008 Australian Easter Yearling Sale and it won’t surprise to see his progeny making regular appearances at the nation’s premier sale.


Sunday, March 27, 2011


If you’re looking to invest in a racehorse – either dipping your toes for the first time or expanding your bloodstock portfolio – you’d do well to take a trip to Mornington next Sunday (3 April) and attend the Open Day of Jason Petch Racing.
Jason is one of Victoria’s up and coming trainers and has purchased astutely this summer, with his share offerings including a King of Roses colt from Fargo (related to Black Caviar) and a colt by first season sire Shinzig from Lady Lucielle (below).
The open day (to be held at Jason’s stables) commences at 11am and a free share will be on offer to one lucky attendee. For further information, phone Jason on 0408 589 611.


What about Desert Sun?
Pensioned off in 2010 at the age of 21, the sire of superstar Sunline is now gaining considerable street cred as the broodmare sire of world champ, Black Caviar.
Just one of seven stakes winners from his daughters, Desert Sun is now among the top 15 Australian broodmare sires by earnings – up from 91st position in 2009/10 – with an average earnings index of 4.22 and far less runners than those above him on the chart.
But the Green Desert stallion hasn’t given up the ghost as ‘sire’ yet with his Irish bred 8YO, Sunny King, running a fantastic third behind Rocket Man in the Dubai Golden Shaheen-G1 over 1200m on Saturday.
Testimony to all versatility, Desert Sun notched up his 465th winner yesterday at Cranbourne when Blistered scored over 2025m – his first victory after 12 previous placings.
(It’s fairly safe to assume that the Christine Boyd trained 6YO is named after the Violent Femmes song, Blister in the Sun … “when I’m walkin’ I strut my stuff man”).

Desert Sun


Statue of Liberty flyer, Hay List, capped off a huge weekend for Eliza Park stallions by taking out the Group Two Challenge Stakes at Warwick Farm on Sunday (27 March).

Hulking sprinter Hay List dodged the might of Black Caviar in electing to run at Warwick Farm in the ATC Challenge Stakes, the decision reaping the right reward when the son of Statue of Liberty (USA) returned to the winner’s circle.
A touch slowly away, the John McNair trained Hay List rallied quickly to hold the rail keeping Keen Commander one off the fence and when given full rein in the straight he surged to the line for a popular win.
The margin of a long head between he and Keen Commander might have had some punters questioning the merit of the win, but the time of 56.89 seconds (0.7 seconds outside the course record) on a dead track proved it was no walk in the park.
A homebred for the Davenport family, Hay List has won 13 of 17 starts earning $1.2 million and is one of 11 stakes-winners worldwide for his sire Statue of Liberty (USA), who stands at Eliza Park.
Hay List will take on Black Caviar again in the Group One ATC TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick in two weeks time with John McNair indicating the sprinter may also have a crack at the 1400m of the Group One ATC All Aged Stakes as well.
Hay List is the first stakes winner for his dam Sing Hallelujah, a metropolitan winning daughter of Is It True (USA).
Sing Hallelujah was covered again by Statue of Liberty last spring and has a weanling full brother to Hay List.
A son of champion sire Storm Cat, Statue of Liberty was originally brought to Australia for three seasons 2004, 2005, 2006 before missing in 2007 when EI struck.
He returned to Victoria in 2009 following an absence of two years, with interest in him rekindled through the deeds of brilliant galloper Mic Mac and smart fillies Dan Baroness, Elysees and Broadway Harmony.
Statue of Liberty covered 130 mares last spring at a fee of $17,600.
- Breednet


Congratulations to Dean Fleming, brother of Eliza Park principal Lee, whose home-bred Rocket Man took out the $US2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan on Saturday (26 March).
Greg Irvine takes up the story …
The best horse ever to race in Singapore, Rocket Man sat on the outside of American speedstar Euroears throughout, before unleashing a paralysing burst of speed over the final 200m to race clear for a 2.25 length win.
The win helped erase memories of last year’s Golden Shaheen when the star Viscount gelding was narrowly and unluckily beaten.
This time around nothing was going to stop the mighty Rocket Man from confirming his status as one of the world’s best.
Rocket Man was selected and purchased as a yearling for $60,000 from the 2007 Magic Millions National Yearling Sale.
He was offered for sale by Tyreel Thoroughbred Stud and purchased by Andy Williams’ World Wide Bloodstock.
Rocket Man is raced by South African based businessman Fred Crabbia and trained by master horseman Patrick Shaw.
“I was confident all week because I have never had him better,” Shaw said.
“Winning on an international stage like Dubai is very special. I don’t know where we go next with Rocket Man.”
“Royal Ascot want him in the summer. But so do the Australians to take on Black Caviar - so we’ll see,” Shaw added.
Champion international jockey Felix Coetzee has ridden many great racehorses over the years and he couldn’t speak more highly of Rocket Man.
“I got a great start and I took him back to give Euroears the lead and tracked him,” Coetzee commented.
“I saw Mike Smith go for his horse and when I picked up Rocket Man he responded. He is so gutsy.”
“It was a great feeling - like being in a top sports car - he was flying!”
“This is the most tenacious horse I’ve ever ridden. He’s a super horse.”
Magic Millions Acting Managing Director David Chester said the win of Rocket Man was a great result for Australia.
“Over recent seasons Rocket Man has proved himself as one of the world’s great racehorses - and he’s doing it on the tough international circuit.”
A half brother to the South African Group One winner Our Giant, Rocket Man has won 14 races from 18 starts - he was second at other four and has never been beaten further than a long neck.
The $60,000 purchase has now won the equivalent of A$3.76 million.


This from Mark Smith of Breednet …

World champion Black Caviar threw a scare into her throng of supporters in Friday’s Group One William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley when she was made to work after being caught three wide, but it was quickly situation normal when Luke Nolen released the afterburners, keeping her record at a perfect 11 for 11.
Nolen was scrubbing the mare along before the turn, quickly gathering in Crystal Lily to win throttled down by 1.75 lengths with stablemate Hinchinbrook (Fastnet Rock) a further 1.25 lengths back in third.
Trainer Peter Moody said he had no concerns during the run.
“He (Nolen) just probably had to wake her up on the night,” Moody said.
“She’s very relaxed and very laid back. She got the job done nicely I thought.
“Nothing worries her, nothing fazes her at all. What do you say? She’s just gone and done the job again, full credit to her, it’s hard to take credit for any part of it. She's just a machine.”
Nolen was kind to the mare in the closing stages: “There are other assignments for her. The only instruction I got tonight was ‘don’t hit her’.”
The daughter of Eliza Park’s Blue Diamond Stakes (G1) hero Bel Esprit took her earnings to over $2.6 million with her 11th consecutive win.
It was her fourth consecutive Group One success, which began with the Patinack Classic, then the Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap.


Black Caviar wasn’t the only big winner at Moonee Valley on Friday night!
We’re fairly sure Bendigo trainer Peter Boynton would have been impressed with the daughter of Bel Esprit and her command performance in the William Reid-G1, but you could forgive him for being a bit distracted after collecting a $55,000 Mazda CX9 Classic from Essendon Mazda.
Why? Well, we’re glad you asked. Peter is the trainer of Bel Esprit flyer La Bella Roo who stopped the clock at 55.48 seconds in winning the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge over 955m at the Valley on New Year’s Eve.
Given that it would prove to be the fastest of the 18 heats (the last – somewhat applicably – conducted at the Valley on Friday) Peter walks away with the CX9 … and we hear that he’s piling up some brownie points too by handing over the keys to Mrs Boynton.
Bred in Queensland and out of the Manntari mare La Trio, is owned by members of the Kangaroo Flat (near Bendigo) Bowling Club and they’ve had some serious fun with this horse, winning six and placing on five occasions for $154,256 in stakes.
Tellingly, the three fastest heats of the Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge were all taken out by sons and daughters of Bel Esprit with the Jarrod McLean trained Waltzes running 55.62 on 20 November and Esprit de Bullet stooping the clock at 55.75 seconds on 3 December.
Important to know in light of his World Champion’s record breaking performances, that Bel Esprit has more than Caviar on the menu.

La Bella Roo

Friday, March 25, 2011


It was a red letter day – or should we say night – for the Fleming family in Singapore last Thursday when five of the gongs at the 2010 Singapore Racing Awards were taken out by home breds.
First and foremost was Singapore’s Champion Sprinter, Rocket Man, which was bred by Dean Fleming and is by Viscount out of the Mr McGinty mare Macrosa.
Rocket Man is an absolute superstar in Singapore and is well and truly primed to win his first international sprint (after running Group One seconds in Dubai and Hong Kong) when he tackles the Dubai Golden Shaheen-G1 at Meydan racecourse tomorrow night.
Rocket Man was allocated three awards at Singapore’s night of nights : Champion 4YO, Champion Sprinter and, not surprisingly, Horse of the Year.
Risky Business, who is out of the Eliza Park owned mare, Sky Watch, also scored big on the night with recognition as Champion Older Horse and Champion Stayer.
Winning of nine starts – including Group Ones in both Malaysia and Singapore – Risky Business was sold for $90,000 at the 2006 Gold Coast Magic Millions and is a half brother to Singapore Group winner Lim’s Fighter.
Sky Watch, winner of the QTC Grand Prix Stakes-G2 and Group One runnerup in the Storm Queen Stakes, produced a God’s Own colt last spring.

Rocket Man


Super run by Clangalang gelding, Full Peal, who notched up an impressive win at Stawell recently.
Originally the 4YO was going to be called Carillon which, according to the dictionary, is defined as a full ‘peal of bells’.
Unfortunately the name was not available so the neddy was named Full Peal which caused the Stawell racecaller no amount of trouble when the 4YO scored over 1600m on 11 March.
Evidently the gelding got called Full Pedal, Full Cream and Full Pearl before both the horse and caller got it right when they hit the line to score an solid victory (Full Peal’s second from five starts after winning on debut at Hamilton in October).
It appears the Clangalangs are a good fit over a mile, especially as Hi Belle – stepping up to 1600m for the first time – grabbed the money at Sandown on Wednesday (23 March).
Full Peal is out of the West Quest mare Lake Solveig (also the dam of 7-time winner Lake Crescent), while Hi Belle hails from the Jugah mare Seldom Caught (from the family of Queensland Group One winners Court Ruler and Black Piranha).


God’s Own might not have had much luck at Sandown on Wednesday when Lady Pania and God Help Her both put in super runs for second and third respectively, but the promising second season sire did manage to kick off the week with wins to Heavenly Wonder at Cranbourne on Sunday and Kuroda Field at Seymour on Tuesday.
Trained by Peter Moody, bred and raced by David and Jenny Moodie and out of the stakes winning Blazing Sword mare Tonicity, Heavenly Wonder was making her debut at Cranbourne and looks to have her share of promise.
Kuroda Field – bred by Yallambee Stud and out of the King Marauding mare Tycoon Prince (which, by the by, was purchased from Moodie at the 2005 Great Southern) – is trained by David Hayes and was notching up her second win on the trot (with a 17 week break in between).
Kuroda Field was purchased as a wedding present and is named after American Medal of Honor winner Robert T Kuroda (pictured).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The following article is due to appear in this month’s issue of Track To Track noting the impact Victorian sires are having on the 2010/11 First Season’s Sire chart.

Three issues back, Track To Track profiled Australia’s leading First Crop Sires, noting that five spots in the top 10 had been booked by Queensland-based sires.
Well, as we move to the business end of the season, there’s been a fair shuffle with Victorian stallion Written Tycoon moving to the top of the chart and a much more even ‘spread’ of state representation.
Besides the Eliza Park based Written Tycoon there are two others who stand south of the Murray, including Churchill Downs (Blue Gum Farm) and Gonski (Darley VIC), while Queensland’s triumvirate are All Bar One (Oaklands Stud), Red Dazzler (Eureka Stud) and Hotel Grand (Racetree).
Nadeem, second on the ladder courtesy of Triple Asset’s Group win at Flemington, has been joined by his Darley stablemate Ad Valorem to give NSW two pozzies, while Western Australia is well placed with Flying Pegasus (Touchstone) and Saxon (Heytesbury Stud) filling third and sixth respectively.
The proliferation of rich events attached to state bonus schemes has clearly assisted some of the first croppers, but at the time of writing, there appeared to only one them with a real chance of getting a huge bump between now and the Queensland winter carnival.
This time last year Stratum wasn’t breaking any world records but grabbed an unassailable lead when Crystal Lily took out the $3.5 million Golden Slipper and, we might add, hasn’t looked back ever since.
It’s looking likely at this stage that the only 2011 Slipper contender by a first crop sire is the promising Written Tycoon colt, Masthead, albeit a fair way down in current markets.
Still, courtesy of Mastead, Grahame Begg’s stakes placed Written Consent and recent Doomben winner Trump, Written Tycoon has a $100k plus buffer and boasts a 5.67 average earnings index, albeit from just six runners.
Given that Masthead was knocked down to the Freedman Brothers for $65,000 at last year’s Melbourne Premier (not bad off a then service fee of $8,250), the colt has repaid the faith by pulling in $328,250 from his five starts.
“We’ve always had a huge opinion of Written Tycoon, whom we syndicated once his racing career (STC Todman Slipper-G2 at two) was over,” Iskander Racing’s Suman Hedge points out. “However, he’s even exceeded our lofty aspirations and with books of 118 and 198 in his last two seasons at stud, you’ll be seeing a lot more of Written Tycoon in the years to come.”

Written Tycoon

Monday, March 21, 2011


A winner a day …


Black Caviar’s baby brother Moshe bounced back to winning form with a comfortable success over 1000m at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Moshe blotted his copybook for the first time at his previous start in the Listed Fireball Quality (1100m) at Rosehill, but he had no trouble with the lesser horses in this easier assignment.
Jockey Dwayne Dunn parked Moshe on the back of the early leaders before he eased the son of BEL ESPRIT into clear running approaching the home turn.
Moshe laid in a touch in the straight before getting the upper hand on his rivals to score a strong win over Commanding Time, who ran on fairly well in the straight.
The win was Moshe’s third in four starts but his co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the colt was unlucky to suffer from comparisons to his undefeated star sister.
“I was probably glad he only just won, rather than by five or six (lengths),” said Hawkes, who trains Moshe in partnership with his father John and brother Michael.
“It’s not his fault he’s Black Caviar’s brother, something has to be Black Caviar’s brother.”
While Hawkes was keen to keep a lid on the hype surrounding Moshe, he did note the 3YO showed improved racing manners.
“He has just been a really immature horse,” Hawkes said. “He never raced until he was three, the other filly (Black Caviar) didn’t race until she was three either. Maybe it is just in their breed.
“He jumped pretty cleanly tonight. He jumps sideways but tonight he was pretty clean so he is getting better and he has plenty of improvement left in him.”
- Breednet

Enjoyed ANZ Bloodstock News’ take on the race too: “Moshe duly landed the odds but he gave those that took the short-price a little cause for concern when he was being ridden along into the straight. Moshe found something to reach the lead and then go clear and he can do no more than win.”
True that!

Moshe scores on debut at Bendigo


Globalwarmnsceptic’s owners might not have been so sceptical after their horse proved to be very hot at Morphettville on Saturday, taking out the Betfair Handicap (1000m) in scorching fashion.
This was the 4YO’s third win from five outings and he is clearly above average.
Out of the Export Price mare, Shirley’s Toy, Globalwarmnsceptic was bred by Kirkliston Stud which passed in the horse at the 2008 Adelaide Magic Millions and decided to race.
It may well turn out to be a very wise move!
Kirkliston Stud is based in the Adelaide Hills and, according to its website, the managing partner – John Thompson – is a relative newcomer to the industry, but has had a lifetime interest in thoroughbred breeding: His (John’s) maternal great-great-grandfather donated the land for what is now the Oakbank Race Course and his maternal grandfather was on the committee of Onkaparinga Racing Club (Oakbank) until his death in the late 1950s. On the paternal side, in the United Kingdom, John's great-grandfather was trainer to the Duke of Norfolk in the late 19th century.


Have to say that the Fast and Furious Handicap over 1200m at Malaysia’s Penang racetrack was very well named!
Watching the YouTube video of the race was enlightening to say the least and the ride of Bel Ringer’s jockey was … well, the Bel Esprit 5YO won and he won convincingly.
Now the winner of three races (two of them in Singapore since leaving our shores in 2008) and two placings from 16 starts, Bel’s Ringer is out of the Zoffany mare Let It Ring and was bred by Lauriston Thoroughbreds at Corinella.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Industry pundit, Brian Russell has an interesting aside on the phenomenon that is Black Caviar …

Dance aside, Nijinsky … you appear about to be upstaged 40 years after your shattering racing epoch in Europe by your great grandaughter Black Caviar.
This 4YO Bel Esprit mare, one who added to her world wide respect when she cruised to the line three lengths clear of her nearest rival, the Stratum Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily, and in a tick outside track record in taking the $1m Newmarket on Saturday, remains unbeaten, and unextended, after her 10 starts.
The record of this thrilling queen of turf, one trained by Peter Moody (Caulfield) for a group of owners, is now one short of that of Nijinsky (above), the massive bay son of Northern Dancer who carved a niche in thoroughbred history in 1969-70 when he crushed the cream of Europe in winning all his first 11 outings.
They included the English Triple Classic Crown events, the Two Thousand Guineas (7-4 on, 2.5 lengths under tight rein), Derby (11-8, 2.5 lengths in fast time) and St Leger (7-2 on, 1.0 length), and also the Irish Derby (11-4 on, 3.0 lengths) and Ascot King George & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2-1 on, 2.0 lengths).
Nijinsky lost little caste when he was defeated in his remaining two starts, both also at three. They were seconds in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (5-2 on, came from a long way back to be beaten a head) and the Newmarket Champion Stakes.
Sent out an 11-4 on favourite in the Champion Stakes, he was well beaten by Lorenzaccio, a horse who later had modest success as a sire, firstly in England and then Australia. He left a legacy in Ahonoora, a good English sprinter and an influential sire in both hemispheres.
Champion in Europe at two and three and Horse of the Year in the latter, Nijinsky went on to be an eminent sire globally through his sons and daughters. One of his sons, Australian used Whiskey Road, supplied Australian Horse of the Year, international star and very good American sire Strawberry Road.
Challenging to be his most brilliant racing son and successful sire, however, has been the Coolmore dual hemisphere used Royal Academy. Born when Nijinsky was 20 and his dam 17, he is Black Caviar’s now retired paternal grandsire Royal Academy.
One of the leading performers in the world in his generation, Royal Academy ran seven times for four wins, including two Group Ones, the American Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Newmarket July Cup, England’s leading sprint. He finished second in two Group Ones, the Irish Two Thousand Guineas and the Haydock Ladbroke Sprint Cup.
World wide, Royal Academy has been represented by over 1200 winners (155 SWs, 22 G1s in 25 countries) of 3,700 races and $138 million. His 1000 foals got in Australia to date have supplied 565 winners (68 SWs, 16 G1s) of 1625 races and $52.2 million. His broodmares in both hemispheres have contributed 964 winners (86 SWs) of 2600 races and $93.5 million. Fastnet Rock and Heart of Dreams are two Australian Group One winners out of Royal Academy mares.
Royal Academy’s most brilliant performer world wide has been Black Caviar’s sire Bel Esprit, a horse bred by Phil Gunter in the Hunter Valley, and sold for only $9,000 at the Sydney Classic sale. He won eight of 19 starts, including the Doomben 10,000, Blue Diamond Stakes, Blue Diamond Prelude, Blue Diamond Preview and Maribyrnong Plate, and was second in the Newmarket, Caulfield Guineas, Manikato Stakes and Caulfield Invitation Stakes.
One the big sire strengths at Lee Fleming’s Eliza Park stud at Kerrie, Victoria, Bel Esprit has over 200 winners (10 SWs) of 500 races and earners of $15.2 million on the board. His best, of course, is Black Caviar.
In addition to Saturday’s Newmarket victory (1200m in 1:7.36), one which took her earnings to just under $3 million, Black Caviar’s successes have included appearances in the VRC Lightning (3.25 lengths, 1000m in 57.20), Patinack Classic (4.0 lengths, 1200m in 1.7.96), MVRC Schweppes Stakes (5.5 lengths, 1200m), Australia Stakes (2.25 lengths, 1200m) and MRC Schillaci Stakes (1.25 lengths, 1000m in 56.68). She has been odds on in all her outings bar her debut, a 5.0 lengths victory at Flemington.
Bred by Melbourne businessman Rick Jamieson at his Gilgai Farm, Nagambie and sold to Moody Racing for $210,000 at the Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale, Black Caviar is bred for speed. She is from Helsinge, an unraced daughter of the Green Desert (Danzig) sire Desert Sun and Scandinavia, a high class 2YO and sprinter by Snippets.
Scandinavia is from Song of Norway, an unraced daughter of Vain and the imported Love Song.
Foaled in Denmark, Love Song was brought to Australia by David Hains, also importer of the dam of his homebred and raced superstar Kingston Town.
Black Caviar is a half-sister to a colt which Gilgai Farm is putting through next month’s Easter Yearling Sale (Lot 277). As he is by the Flying Spur sire Casino Prince, the yearling is nearly a three-quarter brother to another Eliza Park sire in Magnus.
Magnus is a half-brother, by Flying Spur, to Helsinge and a three-quarter brother to Group Two winner and sire Wilander.
A further indication that Royal Academy mares can be helpful in achieving success was found at this week’s Adelaide Cup meeting. One provided Muir, the imported Galileo winner of the Adelaide Cup, and another is the dam of More Awesome, the More Than Ready gelding who took the Adelaide Magic Millions 2YO Classic in fine style.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


There is little question that Black Caviar has brought much joss to the house of BEL ESPRIT, but it’s worth remembering that one swallow – albeit a very great swallow – does not make a summer (and autumn and winter and spring).
Even without Black Caviar’s seasonal earnings of $1.8 million, Bel Esprit is still leading Victorian sire by earnings (and by a good margin!).
But we don’t look at it in terms of state boundaries: Bel Esprit is currently the sixth leading stallion in Australia by earnings and those ahead of him stood at as many as six times his service fee in 2010 and in the case of fourth placed, Commands, 2.4 times as much.
Furthermore – and probably paramount in light of the number of ‘bred and raced’ Bel Esprits – the ‘Champ’ is also fifth on the Australian Sires’ chart by winners and again, with a superior strike rate of winners to runners to all but Lonhro.
Producing the winners of 13 races in February, this is what his scorecard looks like thus far in March:

  • 2 March : double with City of Song (Sandown), Bim Bom Bay (Ascot)
  • 3 March : double with Bellatina and Babieca Noire
  • 4 March : double with Plain Lucky (Moonee Valley) and Caprock
  • 5 March : double with Esprit Lad and Mythical Spirit (along with 3 seconds and a third!)
  • 6 March : double with Royal Express and Bayonet Charge
  • 9 March : winner with Lagobell at Ascot
  • 12 March : double with Black Caviar (Newmarket at Flemington) and Bella Savings
  • 13 March : winner with Farasi in Tasmania
  • 14 March : 5 runners … winner at Moonee Valley (Mythical Spirit), a stakes third in the CS Hayes Memorial-LR at Morphettville with Belgietto and two thirds at Moonee Valley (Bel Shoes and Bellatina)
  • 15 March : no runners

On fire!

Bel Esprit

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Super win today by WRITTEN TYCOON flyer, Trump, who scored over 1110m at Doomben.
Formerly with David Payne at Randwick for his first two starts (showing plenty of nip in the Breeders’ Plate-LR on debut), Trump was having his first outing for Robert Heathcote and showed he not only has ability, but tenacity too, fighting back to score after it look as if the leader might deny him a deserved win.
From the Kiwi mare Queenie – a close relation of the Doomben 10,000-G1 winner Flitter – Trump was bred by Aston Bloostock in NSW and is owned in partnership by Iskander Bloodstock and Eliza Park’s Lee Fleming.
The trainer was full of praise for the win, saying: “As I have suspected since Trump arrived at the stables, he is a talented racehorse and believe he is going to be a lovely 3YO. I think he is going to appreciate more ground … perhaps even up to and beyond 2000m!
“Yes, that is a big call but it’s the early impression he gives me! What he did today was just really on ability alone and (jockey) Damian Brown endorsed my thoughts by saying he still has quite a bit to learn.
“I loved the way the horse stretched out over the last 100m and the time was also smart … just a tick or two outside of the class record. So, all up, a pretty good effort from the horse.”
Robert has also mapped out a tentative program for the 2YO, including a possible tilt at the Brisbane winter carnival.


When I started working as a copyboy on the now defunct Sun newspaper back in 1973 (and subsequently dragooned into the racing department), the horse of the day was the mighty grey, Gunsynd.
Cox Plate winner, Epsom, Doncaster, Rawson, Toorak, Queen Elizabeth – third (carrying 60.5kgs) behind Piping Lane in the Melbourne Cup – Gunsynd’s popularity was incredible. They even wrote a song about him … the Goondiwindi Grey. Terrible bloody song but they still sold a lot of ‘em.
The years since have seen a lot of ‘people’s champs’ including Manikato, Strawberry Road, Bonecrusher, Vo Rogue, Better Loosen Up, Octagonal and his son Lonhro, Might And Power, Sunline, Makybe Diva and, of course, the immortal Kingston Town.
But there’s something about Black Caviar that takes her into a whole new stratosphere.
I’m not saying she’s a better mare than Sunline and the memory’s not that bad to trivialize the deeds of Makybe Diva.
After all, I still get goose bumps from the memory of Sunline edging out Shogun Lodge in the 2002 Doncaster (she was the only one at Randwick that knew she’d won) and Lee Freedman is probably spot on to assert that we’ll never again witness the likes of Makybe Diva’s Melbourne Cup three peat.
But there is an unparalleled aura about Black Caviar which is almost impossible to define.
Sure, her unbeaten status has a lot to do with it … so does the fact that no-one out there has a clue to just how fast she can go. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll never find out.
Note, this has nothing to do with Eliza Park standing her sire, Bel Esprit (he’s more than capable of standing up on his own four feet), nor that we bred her mother, Helsinge.
No, Black Caviar transcends any parochial claims and is simply a horse for the ages.
More importantly, Black Caviar is the reason you muck out boxes, get up with the foaling alarm, keep a phone account despite backing three losing favourites in a row, and still frock up for the races on a rainy, cold Saturday afternoon.
Black Caviar IS racing.

- Greg Tobin (Photo by Bronwen Healy)


We don’t mean to bitch, but how unlucky was WRITTEN TYCOON on Saturday?
Masthead fronted the starter as favourite in the $300,000 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes-G2 at Flemington and was caught near the rear of the field, turning for home three wide.
His jockey couldn’t buy a run in the straight but finished hard on the heels of the third horse and is clearly a very good horse in the making.
With earnings of $110,250, he is currently 10th on the order of entry for the Golden Slipper.
And although Written Consent is now 35th in line for a Slipper start, his run was no less impressive in the $125,000 Jim Beam Skyline Stakes-G3 at Warwick Farm, when sixth behind Uate.
If you were Grahame Begg, chances are you went home and had a couple of Jim Beams after the race: also caught well back in the running, Written Consent was stopped in his tracks at a vital stage but closed late to finish less than three panels from the winner.
Still, we’re not complaining too much … Written Tycoon is still $100k+ ahead on the First Season Sires’ chart but it could easily have been $400k+.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The comparisons are too irresistible to ignore. The race was sponsored by a luxury car marque and on the day of the Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m), the Top Gear Show came to Melbourne at the Showgrounds that sit atop Flemington racecourse. While rev heads rejoiced, instead it was horsepower of another kind that had the 24,583 people at the races spellbound as Black Caviar (Bel Esprit) crushed her rivals in another breathtaking display of power sprinting to land the Newmarket Handicap.
Black Caviar broke the hearts of her opposition at the 300m mark. Luke Nolen asked her for a little more effort and in a matter of strides, Australia’s best sprinters went from being comfortable to inhabiting a world of pain in trying to lay up with the four-year-old, let along challenge her.
With the crowd applauding, Black Caviar went clear and again, as in the Lightning Stakes (Gr 1, 1000m), she was allowed the luxury of coasting home the final 100m without a serious challenger in sight. Last season’s Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Crystal Lily (Stratum) was bravely chasing in second place with the Darley-homebred Beaded (Lonhro) closing for third.
The futility of their chase cruelly exposed with a final race time of 1:07.36 – just 0.2 of a second outside the track record – with a final 600m in 32.67. All completed under 58 kilograms, the second highestweight carried to victory by a mare behind Pendant who won the race in 1906 with the imperial equivalent of 60 kilograms.
In winning Black Caviar becomes the first Australian horse in history to achieve 10 wins from her first 10 starts and she returned to a rousing reception.
Trainer Peter Moody wore the look of a relieved trainer as he waited for his mare to return to the mounting yard. “It’s been a big build-up and it’s nice to put it behind us,” Moody said. “It’s a great relief because this was the one chance, you’d think, for the opposition to beat her and probably the only chance the handicapper will ever get at her.
“Like I said last time, what do you say? You get lost for words because she’s just awesome.” Moody explained that he was aware of the weight and he was mindful of not discounting that in the way Black Caviar runs her races. “I said to Luke to be as kind as you can for as long as you can because we don’t have to be three in front at the furlong just an inch in front on the line. I said before this was probably the last time she’d be running in a handicap so we were mindful of the weight, you have to be.” The Victorian public has certainly taken Black Caviar to heart and this is adding to the pressure for Moody and connections. “I’d like to think we’ve kept our cool all week and that extends to the horse. The public perception is the thing that scares me.
“I would have been more disappointed for the owners and for everyone that came to see her if something had gone wrong. I know she’s going to give her all and the only thing that would bring about her downfall is injury.” Jockey Luke Nolen wore an air of mission accomplished. “We travelled just over halfway well on the bridle then I just her let slide up. I went full bore just thinking with the 58 [kilos] and with a couple of others in it [it might be harder]. I didn’t pull my neck out looking at the big screen today but when she went she went.
She’s every jockey’s dream.” Black Caviar has further emphasised her place as the best sprinter in the world. Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter was left searching for superlatives over the performance but confined himself to pure handicapping matters.
The highest rated sprinter ever on the IFHA World rankings is Oasis Dream (Green Desert) who was rated 125 after a three-year-old season that saw him win England’s premier sprint, the July Cup (Gr 1, 6f) defeating Choisir. Following her Newmarket Handicap win Carpenter believes that Black Caviar will be rated above that.
“Just taking a line through Crystal Lily and Beaded, I’d estimate that Black Caviar has rated some 20 pounds above those two females with the race under handicap conditions. She [Black Caviar] was rated 123 on the last set of rankings and I’d have said she would be ratified at 125 following her Lightning Stakes win. Looking at her win today it is not difficult to say that she will be above 125 and in my view could even possibly be nudging 130, a mark normally reserved for the mile and a half classic horses in Europe.
“She [Black Caviar] is the vehicle that has turned that around and she has flushed out the comparisons, she really does look something very special.”
Black Caviar (4 m Bel Esprit – Helsinge, by Desert Sun) has now earned $2,299,250 from her ten wins. Bred by Rick Jamieson, she sold for $210,000 at the Melbourne Premier Sale.
Moody said Black Caviar would have her next run in the William Reid Stakes (Gr 1) over 1200m under weight-for-age conditions at Moonee Valley on Friday week.
– Darryl Sherer, ANZ Bloodstock News


GOD’S OWN might well have notched up another winner when Sons of God scored at Echuca, but it was one of his beaten brigade that really caught the eye on Saturday.
Racing in the $100,000 Sharp Eskimo Prince Stakes-LR at Warwick Farm, the Bart Cummings trained Big Storm was the ‘flashing light’ runner according to Racenet when he (‘scuse the pun) stormed home for fourth.
Stable rep, James Cummings, told Racenet that Big Storm (who was having his first start since winning in Sydney nine months ago) that the colt had come through the race in great order and appears to be one of the Cummings’ guns for the Sydney autumn carnival.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Danehill’s Group One winning sprinter, SHINZIG, has left his mark on the 2011 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale with a first crop colt knocked down to Rick Hore-Lacy for $160,000 … 16 times service fee!
Indicative of the book of mares Shinzig received when retired to stud in 2008, this highly sought out youngster is from the Group One winning mare Chlorophyll (STC Coolmore Classic) whose three winners include the multiple stakes placed Innovation.
Winner of what was arguably the strongest CF Orr Stakes-G1 (1400m) in history – defeating 12 Group One winners – Shinzig would also finish within 3.2 lengths of the winner in no less than nine Group Ones including a near second to 5-time G1 winner Darci Brahma and a second in the Emirates Stakes-G1 on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Notably, Danehill is the sire of seven Group One winning sprinters (up to 1600m) which stand in Australia and six of them have runners. What’s more, six have produced Group One winners in their own right.
Who knows? The Shinzig colt from Chlorophyll (pictured below) just might be the one to make it seven from seven!

When the first session of the Melbourne Premier closed on Wednesday, other sale highlights included:
  • $130,000 for the Not a Single Doubt from Unrocel Gem, purchased by Damon Gabbedy’s Belmont Bloodstock Agency.
  • $175,000 for the Bel Esprit from Distant Grace who was snapped up by Brian Mayfield-Smith for Doug Zappelli, leaving Victoria’s Champion Sire with a sale average of $85,000.
  • $100,000 for the General Nediym from Eggs that was bought by NSW trainer David Vandyke.
  • $110,000 for the Elusive Quality (sire of Blue Diamond winner Sepoy) from Betula that now finds her way to the stables of Hawkes Racing.
  • $120,000 for the Bel Esprit from Georgia, bred by AFL legend Kevin Sheedy and sold to Hong Kong agent Apollo Ng.


They say every cloud has a silver lining, but for long-time Eliza Park client, Colin Beggs, his patience must have been sorely tested when his Magnus colt from Songs of Vienna was a late withdrawal from the Melbourne Premier on Tuesday.
After all, the colt is a real athlete and he’s by a very hot young sire in Magnus from a Flemington stakes winning half sister to this season’s Group Two winner Hadabeclorka. The colt is also linebred to Mr Prospector through a daughter and son with a close up cross to Snippets.
Thankfully for Colin though, Songs of Vienna’s Bel Esprit 2YO – City of Song – was having her first start at Sandown on Wednesday, winning the Race-Tech Handicap over 1000m in convincing fashion. Trained by John Moloney, the filly is owned by Colin and his family. The manner of her win would suggest it won’t be the last!

Thursday, March 3, 2011


The perfect yearling? Head like a Princess, bum like a washer woman and a walk like a hooker!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Yes, it looks more like a jet but this brand was designed by Essendon (Bombers) devotees Max and Judi Clarke who sold a Hard Spun from Sheedy’s Sheila (Lot 267) to Todd Ireland for $58,000 at Oaklands Junction on Day 2 of the Premier.
Max and Judi, who own a property at Strath Creek in Victoria’s north east, had the good fortune to race the mighty stallion Keltrice who won the Lightning Stakes-G1 and went on to produce Group One Hong Kong winner Del Este.
Not surprisingly, Sheedy’s Sheila – named after former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy – is a daughter of Keltrice who has been represented by seven stakes winners as a broodmare sire.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


AFL legend Kevin Sheedy ensured the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale got off to a flying start when his homebred Bel Esprit filly – from the Naturalism mare Georgia – was knocked down to Apollo Ng for $120,000.
A full sister to the stakes winner Peach Tree, Kevin’s filly (below) entered the ring as Lot 3 and was very popular in the days leading up to the sale.
Apart from the Bel Esprit on day one, Eliza Park also sold the highest priced Churchill Downs ($85,000), the highest priced General Nediym ($50,000), a Magnus for $80,000 and a Danzero for $90,000.
Eliza Park will sell 11 yearlings today (Tuesday), including three colts by Magnus a Bel Esprit, Fastnet Rock, Choisir, Dehere, Not a Single Doubt, General Nediym, Hard Spun and Elusive Quality (sire of Saturday’s Blue Diamond winner Sepoy).